Raja Rani (2013) Film Review

Director: Atlee
Casts: Aarya, Nayanthara, Jai, Nazriya
Music: G.V.Prakash
Language: Tamil
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Debutant Atlee’s Raja Rani have numerous reasons to anticipate starting from the star studded casting to its studio (Fox Star Studios) which is renowned for its quality string of movies. The fresh marketing and interesting visual ads surely assured a sleek product from a guy who has passed out from Shankar’s school of filmmaking. But how far does he suffice the standards of his mentor?

John and Regina wed against their will and soon sink into a ruffling post marriage routine, living full hatred towards each other. As they continue holding on to their respective past, the story takes a twist when Regina falls prey to a sudden bout of fits which eventually opens up the dark pasts of John and Regina.  

Story – Screenplay
Director Atlee has crafted his screenplay around the tag line ‘There is love/life after a love failure’ which comes across quite strongly as the film progresses. Despite the large cast ensemble, each of them aids in moving the story forward and pushing the message out of the screen to the minds and hearts of the audiences. His sensible and matured direction shows in the detailed aesthetic look of the film, from the performances to the visuals.  Like his mentor, Atlee seems to be a visual perfectionist.

Balancing the comic element and serious drama portions is a tricky business but Atlee have done it quite compellingly.  Each character looks realistic and likable. The way Sathayaraj and Nayanthara exchange their love through the words ‘darling’ and beer, expresses freshness in portraying father and daughter relationship. This is only an example as Atlee’s continuous striving to break the stereotype portrayal of relationships, shines throughout the film.  Atlee’s flare of writing ‘crowd satisfying’ dialogues certainly saves the wobbling 2nd half to a great extent.

On the flipside, the screenplay gets very predictable towards the end and placing the climax in the same old airport gets a bit tiresome. In addition, in the name of comedy, associating dark skinned people to chimpanzees is nothing less than exasperating.

However, all these minor glitches do not seem to dampen the high energy of Raja Rani.

 Casting & Performance
Not only Raja Rani boasts with full of good-looking cast but also a mixture of great performers. Firstly it’s Nayanthara who scores distinction with her seasoned performance. From the bubbly self in flashback to the scene where she controls her tears just to make her dad smile is simply astonishing. Raja Rani probably might just be her best performance in Tamil till date.  Aarya too compliments her with his controlled delivery. The transition he shows from the flashback to the present is noteworthy.

Current crowd favourite, Nazriya, sparkles with her chirpy and cute expressions. All said, it is Jai who scores all the points among the four with his innocent portrayal. His ever crying tone and natural dialogue delivery is his biggest plus.

Seasoned performer Sathyaraj passes off well as an uber-cool father and awes us with his versatility yet again even at this age.

As mentioned earlier, Atlee’s eye for visual perfection is evident through the sleek product.

George C. Williams’ captures each shot in an astonishingly exotic manner. The slight tonal difference he gives for the two flash backs further enhances the significance of the past for the characters. There’s no doubt that his arresting visuals are an important reason for Raja Rani’s ‘feel-good’ factor.

G.V.Prakash cool tunes really gels well with the film’s tecture right from the start. Despite having half a dozen tracks, it has to be noted that no song in the film sticks out like a sore thumb, thanks to its clever placements.

Last but not the least, T.Muthuraj’s stylish and precise art direction enhances Raja Rani as a spellbinding visual treat.  
Despite certain glitches, ‘Raja Rani’ emerges as a winner at all aspects, owing to Atlee’s matured direction and remarkable performance of the star casts.

Verdict: Charmingly sweet, sensibly compelling
Rating:  3.5/5


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